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Andy Pettitte’s testimony just became pretty useless to the prosecution in the Clemens case

May 2, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

Former Roger Clemens Teammate Andy Pettitte Appears At His Perjury Trial Getty Images

This morning we ran down Andy Pettitte’s testimony on direct examination in the Roger Clemens case. The upshot: (1) Clemens told him he did HGH back in 1999; but (b) Clemens said he did NOT do HGH in 2005, and that Pettitte was wrong about the 1999 conversation.

Fine, as far as that goes. The prosecution is implying strongly that, when the PED heat started to get ratcheted up, Clemens began to lie about it, and that the 1999 conversation was the truth.  The only problem:  Andy Pettitte, on cross examination this morning, admitted that he may actually have been wrong about that 1999 conversation. “Attanasio” is the Clemens defense lawyer cross-examining Pettitte:

Obviously Brian McNamee still has to testify and his testimony is key, but Pettitte’s testimony creates way more than reasonable doubt about whether Clemens ever said that did PEDs of any kind.

This, in my mind, renders Andy Pettitte’s testimony completely useless for the prosecution, because really, all that he was there for was to testify that Clemens admitted to PED use. And now that’s blown away.

  1. sdelmonte - May 2, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Pettitte will be sent back to municipal court for two more trials before being called back to the Feds.

  2. Old Gator - May 2, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    It’s terrific to have a seasoned attorney on hand in cyberspace to point out when testimony becomes too vague or potentially self-contradictory to be useful. Imagine A world in which they were that usefuland perspicacious in real life! I mean, where would we get our politicians and headline shoring Federal prosecutors from?

    • Old Gator - May 2, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      …headline whoring.

      Dear Buddha, I hate cellphone qwerty keyboards almost as much as meerkats.

  3. yankeesgameday - May 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Did clemens bring in Pettite’s brother from sicily and sit him in the back of the court room?

    • raftershostmom - May 2, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      Best post of the day!

      • jimbo75025 - May 2, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        Yup-never can get enough GF2 references…….

  4. crisisofinfinitephils - May 2, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    50% chance he misunderstood? WTF is that? How is it this guy always gets a pass? He’s a fraud like everyone else involved. Just stop this farce and save everyone from this embarrassment.

  5. hsven1887 - May 2, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    It was just the expected statement. Did anybody really expect something else?

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 2, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Let it all soak in, folks. You are paying for this. Government at work.

    So the case is: a drug user may or may not have hear Clemens talk about drug use, and a drug dealer says Clemens used drugs and has a dirty needle in a dirty soda can to prove it.

    How much does an average trial cost the government?

  7. dk56 - May 2, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Not sure how you can misunderstand that… Either 1) Clemens said that he took the roids or 2) Clemens said his wife took the roids.. One answer is shocking and unforgettable, the other would raise an eyebrow..

    Pettite looks like a dufus in this whole mess.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 2, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      You had a typo in that last sentence: you wrote “Pettitte” when you meant to write “The prosecution.” Totally understandable.

      • dk56 - May 2, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        Both actually..
        Either he heard Clemens say it or he didnt..Dont say you heard him say it if you dont know for sure. Prosecution should not have put him up there unless he was clear to what he had heard.

    • nixonotis - May 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Other then his past PED use (of which we already knew), what exactly makes Pettitte look bad here? He’s under oath and is being (presumably) truthful when he says that he cannot be sure whether or not he “misheard” Clemens 13 years ago. I can’t remember what my wife told me yesterday, let alone over a decade ago.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 2, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        It’s not that it makes Pettitte look bad. It makes the prosecution look bad because the entire reason they called him was because they said he could show that Clemens said he used PEDs. And now … he doesn’t know it all. He has no credibility as a witness on the one point he was called to establish.

  8. metalhead65 - May 2, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    guess this means they are still friends now right? sorry pettite you lose all credibilty and do not get to hide be hide your born again personna and nice guy image. he either said that to you or he didn’t and since you have claimed all along he did then you are a liar now for not sticking with your story. you and the yanlkees deserve each other and I hope your comeback fails miserably. roger can once again escape the legal syaytem but like bonds not the court of public opinion, he is guilty and like all the other users should not be allowed in the hall.

  9. xmatt0926x - May 2, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Is it just me or is this maybe a case where Pettite is actually being a genius and knowingly trashing the feds case? It seems to me that a guy in his position wants to testify so he won’t get in trouble yet at the same time he doesn’t want to be the guy that puts the nail in the coffin of Clemens (his onetime great friend). It wouldn’t shock me one bit if he planned to be vague in his memory all along. It’s a win-win for him and an old friend he never really wanted to dime out in the first place.

  10. pjmitch - May 2, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    AWESOME Godfather reference!!!!

  11. kappy32 - May 2, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    I try cases often. I practice in both criminal defense & commercial & corporate litigation in NY. As any criminal defense trial attorney will tell you, it is imperative that the defense focuses on “reasonable doubt” during their closing arguments more than trying to clear Clemmens’ name & state he never used PEDs. You are correct that Pettite’s testimony on cross raises reasonable doubt, but like I said, it is the job of Attanasio that he ties it up in his summation, emphasizing reasonable doubt. Pettite’s testimony was huge to the government’s case because the judge has ruled that McNamee’s past transgressions are fair game for the defense to cross him on. McNamee is not going to come off as being very credible once the jurors hear about his past. The credibility, or lack thereof, of McNamee also creates reasonable doubt for the defense to use in summation. With that being said, Clemmens is extremely worried about his public reputation & becoming a member of the Hall of Fame that I really believe that he is going to try to persuade his attorney to claim that he has never used PEDs, therefore he never lied, in the closing argument phase. If Clemmens’ attorney adopts that approach, he would be very stupid & could easily have his client convicted because of that strategy. It seems to be a consensus opinion that Clemmens used PEDs & we aren’t sitting in the juror’s box. It is going to be hard to make the jury believe that Pettite, McNamee & the US government are all lying & out to persecute Clemmens. On the other hand, it will not be very hard to make the jury see that there is some doubt that Clemmens used PEDs & the government was not able to prove it to a moral certainty (a/k/a beyond a reasonable doubt) in light of Pettite’s testimony & McNamee’s past. While this testimony helps, it’ll be up to Rogers’s attorney to seal the deal & bring home the win. Clemmens needs Attanasio to become John Wettland & close out the game come summation time.

  12. AlohaMrHand - May 2, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    I’m thrilled to see tax dollars paying for this glorified donkey show.The hell with funding schools and fixing roads as long as we can put a former baseball player on trial for alleged actions that the majority of players in the majors were doing too durin that period.

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